5 Important issues for having a property survey

Prospective home buyers think it may be a waste of money to purchase a new property survey. It is important to contract for a new survey if there is none available. Don’t you want to know specifically what you are buying? Purchasing a home is the largest financial decision made by most people. Acreage and raw land may have ambiguous markers. Fences have been known to have been moved or removed. A new home may have a zero lot line that may not be evident to a consumer’s eye.

A property survey conveys crucial information at the time of contract and future changes you may wish to make to your land.

5 Important issues for having a property survey:

  • Location of utility easements – As simple as this may sound, prospective buyers have asked why these easements are necessary! In order to have electric, gas, water, cable, internet, etc., utility easements are necessary. Location of the utility easements let you know not to pour new concrete for a gazebo over your gas lines! This is also required access for utility companies.
  • Property parameters – Does the driveway overlap onto the next door neighbor’s property? Property lines verify the length/width of the easement between your home and the public access (street or road).  Property lines also differentiate your neighbors property, side to side and in back, from your property.
  • Fence lines – If your neighbor contracted to install a fence overlapping onto your backyard, a survey is integral to protecting your rights. A survey can also verify fence ownership.
  • Location of septic tank lids and wells – knowledge for inspection, maintenance and access.
  • Location of improvements – house, concrete for sidewalks, driveways, patios, outbuildings, and any other structures. Gravel drives and walkways, as well as fences are noted.

The survey date is important if changes have been made – additions as well as deletions to the property since the date of the last survey.  A form T-47, Residential, Real Property Affidavit  can be used to verify no changes have been made to the property when a sale is transacted.  A survey protects your rights. A professional Realtor® or real estate attorney can guide and direct you for protection of your best interests.


©APeto-Selby.com 2019, All Rights Reserved, May not be reprinted without explicit permission.

Home seller checklist before showing your house

  • Declutter – Remove all unnecessary objects, dishes (clean & dirty), small appliances, clothing, shoes, small statues, toys, toiletries, magazines, newspapers and collections from counters, dressers, tables and floor.
  • Clear all walking paths – the home should have a smooth flow of traffic and should not be hindered by baby gates, extension cords, large boxes or furniture.
  • Light and bright – adjust blinds to allow natural light through out the home. If necessary, turn on lights or lamps.
  • Inspect your yard – hoses should be wound into a neat coil, yard tools should be put away, grass should be cut, flower beds should be weeded , walks, drives and landscaping should be edged, front door/entry way should be free of cobwebs, dirt, leaves and debris. Snow and ice should be addressed to insure safe entry.
  • Bedrooms – beds made, clothing put away, dressers cleared, closets in neat order. Secure all jewelry and items of value.
  • Bathrooms – clean and clear – put all bottles, brushes, creams, salves, ointments, cleaning products, plungers and wet wash clothes where they belong. Secure all prescription medications.
  • Pets – Please take your pets with you when your home is being presented to prospective buyers. This may not always be possible, but is a best practice. If you have to leave Fido and Minnie in the home – place them in a safe and secure environment such as a carrier or designated, gated area. It is important to have your Realtor advise and instruct other real estate agents there are pets in the home. Litter boxes should be exceptionally clean.
  • Home Office – secure all sensitive materials and electronics.
  • Garage – should present itself as a place to park vehicles. If the bays are presently used for storage – an orderly system should be in place. Park vehicles off premises when your home is being viewed.
  • Closets – Orderly and sparse – if your clothing or coats are extremely crowded, this may inform the prospective buyer that there is inadequate space to store their clothing. Delete everything unnecessary and un-used.
  • Clean, Clean and Clean – broom swept, vacuumed, dusted and shining. Empty all wastebaskets and trash cans. A clean home smells like a clean home.
  • De-personalize – remove all family photos, sports team memorabilia, religious items, political objects and controversial elements.

Prospective buyers have a need to “picture themselves” living in your house/condo.  A neutral environment will allow an image of where to place their family portrait. Safety is utmost to insure a pleasant visit. Packing up anything you are not currently using will assist with showing your home and creating a head start for your move forward.

Your real estate professional can guide and direct you to a successful sale.


©APeto-Selby.com 2019  All rights reserved.

Why do I need a mortgage pre-approval?

The Realtor® requests a mortgage pre-approval or verification of funds. You have determined you are ready to research  the purchase of a house. You may start out looking at homes on real estate websites. During the process, you contact a real estate agent to view a specific home. You may not be ready to disclose all of your personal information, at this time. It may be your preliminary plan to determine what is available in the market. You may be researching a different area to move to or you aren’t sure of your buying power. The purchase of a home is the largest financial transaction most people will make in their lifetime. A serious buyer is willing to provide the information necessary to complete this transaction.

If you are on a search for a new place to call home, you will have to pay for it. A mortgage pre-approval gives you insight into how much home you are able to afford. A mortgage professional can also educate you on options and benefits you may not have been fully aware of. We all like to think we are our own experts but even Realtors® learn something new with each change in lending laws, policies and guidelines. Mortgage lenders are expert in their field and will provide all options available to you.


A cash buyer will be asked for verification of funds. A percentage of prospective buyers feel they do not have to disclose their personal information to a real estate agent. An experienced Realtor® will verify the buyer’s ability to pay. A licensed Realtor also has a fiduciary duty to keep information confidential and direct actions in the best interest of his/her customer/client.

If you are unable to apply for a mortgage or do not have your funds at goal status, a real estate agent will be able to provide information necessary for a successful transaction. If you have an existing relationship with a financial institution, they may be able to provide direction for attaining your home buying goals.

For the safety of a real estate agent and the owners of the homes you wish to view, prospective buyers must provide personal identification. Contact information allows the Realtor® to communicate information essential to the customer’s needs. When you are ready to purchase a home, realize the real estate agent providing services to you, is a professional. Your best interest is forefront.  A qualified buyer will have the information necessary to make the best decisions.


APeto-Selby.com©2017 All rights reserved.




This article is the third in a series to assist when you have inherited a home. As stated in article #1, you have already taken the initial actions required for property possession. The second article directs you to Realtors and legal professionals to establish the change in authority of ownership. A crucial and necessary action will now be to assess the home’s structure, condition and contents before listing the property.


To some degree, we know our own home’s deficits and benefits. If you have not recently resided in the inherited property or were not involved with the routine maintenance, this property is a mystery. To complicate matters, if the inherited property is not local to your network, you may be starting from scratch for reliable professionals to assist with general assessment and repairs.


Inherited property processes
Content liquidation allows a complete view of the home and any needs it may have before listing it for sale.

Immediate distribution, according to estate documents, of contents will clear the home for a realistic view of what will need accomplished for listing the property. After the inherited contents have been distributed, there most likely will be items remaining. Household items can be donated or sold. To do this yourself will necessitate time, patience and tenacity. If you choose to utilize a company specializing in estate sales, be prepared to forfeit a high percentage of value through their fees. Research and references of the company’s business practices is highly advised. This Realtor® has witnessed lifetime estates practically given away for a fraction of total worth through estate sales. Eliminating emotion and living with regret require sound decision making.


If you choose to do content liquidation yourself, contacting a local real estate professional or someone who has the specific experience will offer information to expedite the process. It saves a lot of dead end telephone calls and wasted miles for research. A short list to start this project is:


  • Donate pantry goods to the local food pantry/bank.
  • Set up a garage sale – checking local ordinances if a permit is required. Advertise through garage sale websites such as com, gsalr.com, or garagesalefinder.com.
  • Construction materials, tools and building materials can be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
  • Ebay may be an option for selling specialty items.
  • Donate highly specific items to universities – such as high end telescopes or tools to a student at a technical school.
  • Local consignment shops may be a source for selling furniture and antiques. Check the policy and contract for fees, tenure, pick up and delivery.
  • Shelters and furniture banks are a source for household item donations.


After the property has been cleared, inspect for structural deficits, electrical and plumbing needs. Selling a property “as is” may be accomplished for a cash buyer. A buyer applying for a mortgage may have to meet specific code or structural requirements for loan approval. Insurance companies may also require certain repairs before policy approval. This assessment goes beyond paint and flooring. A pre-inspection by a professional will provide the information necessary before listing a home for sale. A local real estate agent may be able to offer a list of referenced and accredited professionals available to assess and complete repairs. Utilize their expertise instead of reinventing the wheel.


If circumstances prevent you from repairing structural infractions, there are real estate companies that purchase homes in disrepair. The offer you receive will most likely be lower than market. If there is an outstanding mortgage on the home, the offer made by these companies may not be enough to cover the outstanding payoff. Be aware of the market value of the house. Contacting an experienced real estate agent with knowledge of the local market will be able to provide a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis. This will give you insight to the value of your asset.


A sound structure, a bright and light clean home will yield the highest return. Curb appeal and inviting entrance will attract buyers.




Follow me on twitter: Andi Peto-Selby@bdrealtyadvisors




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20 Reasons to want multiple master bedrooms

According to a realtor.com® analysis, active listings which include more than one master bedroom, average 9 percent higher in price than those that do not. Consumers are more vocal when it comes to stating their needs in a home. Multiple master bedrooms are becoming the new trend in homes. Consumers are open when stating why they want more than one master bedroom. Some folks will share information they don’t tell their pastor, priest or rabbi but they will tell their realtor® specifically why they want separate master bedrooms.

Reasons for multiple master bedrooms:

  • Partners snore, thrash, talk in their sleep or get up too often during the night
  • Multi generational family needs – elderly parents, boomerang kids, siblings
  • Sleep disorders – such as insomnia, sleep walking, sleep apnea, sleep eating
  • One partner wishes to sleep with pets in the bed and the other disagrees
  • Accommodating children in the bed and the other partner requires sound sleep
  • Professions requiring nightly interruptions
  • Non-traditional work hours
  • Halitosis
  • Separated, living under the same roof
  • Open lifestyles (open to interpretation)
  • Environment – room temperature, more/less bedding, light/dark
  • Different preference for mattress/bed type (he hates the waterbed)
  • One can’t sleep without the TV on and the other requires silence
  • A need for one’s own space
  • Religion
  • Guest accommodation
  • Illness
  • Mismatched body clocks – night owl, early bird
  • Decorating differences – flowers and lace vs. taxidermy and ammo
  • They just want to sleep alone
Master bedrooms

It is important to tell your realtor® the specific type of home you want. The number of en- suite bedrooms is noteworthy. The reason why is strictly your own business.

A professional real estate agent or broker will be able to assist you in finding your dream home with the amenities you are seeking.


APeto-Selby.com 2017© May not be reprinted without explicit written permission. All worldwide rights reserved.   

Tone down your inner Clark Griswold

tone-down-your-inner-clark-griswold The holiday season adds another layer of stress due to extra activity, maintaining a semblance of order for house showings and the possibility of receiving a sales contract. Your goal is to sell your house.

If you always have a live tree displayed, opt for a smaller version than the one you usually choose. Remove a piece of furniture from the room where the tree will be displayed. Be aware of maintaining natural traffic flow through the room. If you are actively showing your home, do not make the room appear smaller with added decorations.

Replace the Christmas villages, train displays and luminosities- star-light and strobe illumination effects with natural winter-like elements. Seasonal plants, such as poinsettias, bowls with red and green candy and subtle fragrance items. It may be best to store the Santa toilet seat covers, yards of lighted stair bannister holy and The Nightmare Before Christmas bedspreads. Be cognizant, your displayed religious pieces will detract from keeping your home neutral to prospective buyers.

Keeping the “exterior illumination” and yard adornments to a minimum will also allow prospective buyers a clear view of the home’s exterior. Front doors should not be covered with trimmings that will not allow a buyer to actually see the condition, style and material type. Safety should always be a priority and extension cords and electrical wiring should never be crossing a walkway, hall, room or doorway.

A generic home, not theme specific, will expedite placing a “sold” sign in the front yard. If you are unable to minimize your holiday activities and displays, discuss with your Realtor® options in reference to temporary suspension of home showings. Selling your home should always be the focus as long as it is actively listed. A professional real estate agent or broker will have the expertise to guide you through the process.


APeto-Selby.com 2016© May not be reprinted without explicit written permission. All worldwide rights reserved.


Blunt advice for every home seller

The following 20 action items may not be applicable to your specific home selling circumstances, therefore pick and choose the actions specific to your needs.

1. If your garden tub does not have a shower head – tear down the shower curtain surrounding it (You don’t need to have a prospective buyer psychologically analyze why it is there)

2. Get rid of the scatter rugs- immediately (If there’s a hole in the floor put hazard tape around it)

3. For the love of all religions –There should not be an egg yolk stained dish, spaghetti laced colander, or sticky, fingerprinted water glass in sight. (take the dirty dishes with you before the Realtor brings the prospective buyer into the house)

4. TAKE THE TRASH OUT – “Out” meaning, out of doors, put it in your car, take it to the office – anywhere but inside the house.

5. Take half of the books displayed and box them up for storage.

6. Fake plants/flowers have no place in the world – especially in your house during a showing.

7. Clear the walls. Take down the ducks, clucks, and bucks or anything not resembling an invisible icon. (NO family portraits- the portrait of a woman with the jeweled crown on her head still haunts me)

8. Bathroom vanities should only have some type of soap/container out and NOTHING ELSE.

9. Two – ONLY two (2) items should remain on the kitchen counters

Clear the kitchen counters
Clear the kitchen counters

–Seller’s choice.

10. Window sills are sacred ground. Not even a dust particle should be displayed on any window sill. (I almost had a bowling ball collection land on my foot when opening the blinds at one showing)

11. Put half of your furniture in storage. Tour a model home. There is an absence of dressers, occasional tables, foot stools, curio cabinets, file cabinets and bookcases.

12. Box up the electronics. Prospective buyers will have Chevy Chase flashbacks if they are overwhelmed with multiple surge protectors and a pasta spiral of cords exposed.

13. Door handles were never intended to be display hooks for foundation garments and jock straps.

14. Shoes should only be displayed on a human being’s feet. It is a tripping hazard to crawl over a mountain of shoes in the foyer, vestibule, doorways and on stairs.

15. Closets should have nothing on the floor – unless the set of golf clubs or a vacuum cleaner is the only item being stored.

16. Your children and pets can temporarily live with 2 or 3 toys until the house is sold. Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up with a doll made from a corn cob and she turned out OK.

17. Remove toilet seat covers. Get rid of toilet seat covers. No toilet seat covers.

18. Religious displays, teams/sports affinities, political statement pieces and nude art pieces should be packed for your move. A neutral environment will allow prospective buyers the ability to picture themselves living in the home.  “What about ‘em “Stillers”?”

19. Remove all “poop”. This includes from litter boxes, aquariums, diaper pails and genies, yard – dogs – detail, small animal habitations and bird cages. Buyers will walk through the backyard and back into your home.

20. Can’t believe it needs said – Put firearms, guns, rifles, swords, knives and weapons of any kind in a locked gun safe or secured off premises.

The house, condo, townhome you have listed for sale is no longer your home during the listing period. A neutral environment will expedite the sales process. It is a lot of work and disrupts the routine of the household. A temporary inconvenience will result in a favorable outcome.  Call an experienced and blunt Realtor® for professional guidance.


APeto-Selby.com© 2016 – All rights reserved. May not be reprinted without permission.

New construction in La Marque Texas

New construction homes are being built in the HeaderDelany Cove Subdivision,  La Marque, Texas – a 15 minute drive from Seawall Blvd in Galveston – or a 30 minute commute to downtown Houston. La Marque has the advantages of both living near the gulf coast beach with access to a major metro area.

Delany Cove is minutes from the Gulf Freeway (I-45), Tanger Outlet Mall, Texas City Dike, shopping, restaurants and outdoor recreation. The 25 acre amusement park, Adventure Pointe is currently under construction next to Tanger Outlet Mall. Updates for the opening date are available on the Adventure Pointe Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/adventurepointepark   Delany Cove has a children’s playground with picnic area and benches for family enjoyment. Hitchcock Independent School District serves this community’s educational needs.

La Marque Texas has the small community feel but is the gateway to a major metropolitan area. Houston offers pro sport events for the Houston Astros, Texans, Rockets and Dynamo. The arts are abundant with access to the Houston Symphony,  A 40 minute commute to the Houston Museum District and the Houston Zoo.

New home construction does not require changing wallpaper, carpet color, kitchen remodels or painting.  A brand new home is move-in ready. New construction has the “new home smell”. No one else walked barefoot on the carpet or brushed their teeth in the bathroom sink.

GreenECO Builders and Lennar Homes  offer spacious floor plans and beautiful elevations to choose from in the Delany Cove subdivision. New construction homes include new kitchen appliances, landscaping and choices available to make it your unique home. To insure your best interests are a priority, visit Delany Cove with your real estate agent. A Realtor will offer individual attention to the home buying process as well as working with the builder. This is at no additional cost to you as the new home buyer.

Call Andi Peto-Selby, Realtor® 713.870,0208,

APeto-Selby@bdrealty.com for additional information.



©APeto-Selby.com 2017 All rights reserved. May not be reprinted without explicit permission.

Mortgage credit qualification

Balance in your life will lead to a balanced credit profile. Planning the purchase of a home involves multiple steps and financial practices ahead of viewing new homes. A satisfactory credit rating to qualify for a mortgage is not instantaneous. It involves planning, self discipline and intimate knowledge of your personal money management.Mortgage credit qualification

A great number of folks do not know off the top of their heads, what their net and gross incomes are per year. Money management is key in creating and maintaining a balanced credit report with the three (3) major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Money management is knowing exactly how many dollars are coming into your home and how many dollars are exiting. The exit dollars must be designated strategically to work for you. Knowing where each dollar is allocated will allow your goals to be met.

Mortgage credit qualification requires self discipline. Your personal credit profile includes secured and unsecured loans, revolving credit cards, mortgages, vehicle loans, student loans and any loans you may have consented to as a co-applicant, co-signer or guarantor.

In order to qualify for a mortgage, your credit report will project the amount of risk a lender is willing to take by lending you funds to purchase a home. A few of the elements a lender will consider is the amount of debt you have accumulated in reference to your income (debt ratio). The amount of available credit, in reference to your monthly income may be viewed as a higher risk. Little to no credit will not provide enough of a history to calculate risk. The manner in which you pay your obligations is a risk factor. Paying debts late, riding the credit line/limit, bankruptcy, liens, foreclosures, repossessions and charge-off accounts weigh in the negative when calculating the probability of your ability to pay a mortgage payment in a timely fashion. Paying your credit obligations, on time, will increase your credit score and decrease your risk factor.

A free – (really free) credit report, authorized by federal law, is available to each consumer at: www.annualcreditreport.com

Knowing where you spend each and every dollar will also enhance your ability to qualify for a mortgage. A budget that includes saving for a down payment and closing costs will show a lender you’re disciplined and able to take care of your business. Balance in your life includes balance in your budget. Extremes in borrowing practices and running credit lines continuously up to their limits will present “red flags”. Writing down all expenditures, from fast food to gasoline will enable you to realize all money spent. Knowledge will be the foundation to grow your house buying plan.



APeto-Selby.com 2016© All rights reserved

HomeBuyer house hunting homework

Has your prospective dream home been the scene of a horrific murder? The history of the home and previous occupants may be of concern or hold historical value to a potential buyer. Homebuyer house hunting homework may be the call of action to answer important inquiries.

A professional Realtor® should readily have an answer or the resource available to research an answer. Questions are encouraged. An informed consumer is in a better position to make a qualified decision for purchase.

Examples of prospective homebuyer questions could be and have been:

  • Has anyone died in this house?
  • Were there any crimes committed in this house?
  • Are there sex offenders living nearby?
  • Is there a pet leash law?
  • Does the subdivision allow 3 story high jungle gyms?
  • Can I run my business from this house?
  • How far is the nearest firehouse?
  • Can I breed pit bulls in the backyard?

Your Realtor® should know, according to his or her state laws governing whether they are able to discuss a death in the home. Texas Realtors® or home owners are not obligated to disclose this information – whether they are aware of it or not. As a prospective buyer, you have the right to research available police records, state, county and local jurisdiction public files and local newspapers and publications for information related to the home’s address.

Public records will also be the key to the history of home ownership. Most counties now have the line of ownership available on the Internet. If you are an observant researcher, it may be evident to determine if the home was inherited or transferred within a family, a foreclosure, a history of improvements, tax history, lien history and a record of the properties/improvements dimensions.

The US Department of Justice National Sex Registry has a website for researching if there are sex offenders living nearby or within the community. The Internet is also a resource for locating the nearest police and fire house. If the home is located in a town, borough, suburb or sub-division community, they may have their own website with local rules, laws, regulations and activities available. Sub-divisions may also have a copy of the by-laws and deed restrictions posted by the home owner association (HOA). Your real estate agent will also be able to obtain home owner association information for you, also.

Home owner association by-laws and deed restrictions are usually very specific and will let you know the requirements for home ownership within the subdivision. Local jurisdictions will also inform you of yoHomebuyer house hunting homeworkur ability to run a business from your residence or not. Ask specific questions. You may be able to conduct business but may not be able to post a sign advertising the business on the property. Local jurisdictions will also be able to inform you of laws and regulations in reference to pet ownership.

Again, your real estate agent or broker will have neighborhood knowledge and resources to assist with answers to your questions.


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Residential & Commercial Real Estate 713.870.0208